Spring 2018 Fish 'N Fest - Bay City Lodge, Apalachicola FL

June 14 - 17, 2018


Come join the Nuts & Bolts Gang for a weekend of Fishing...Food...and Fun on the Gulf Of Mexico!

Spring fishing is awesome in Apalachicola Bay and the surrounding offshore areas.  So make your plans now to attend the Nuts & Bolts Spring 2018 Fish 'N Fest. This time, we're headed back to one of our favorite destinations...Bay City Lodge. 

Big Note!!!  We are limiting the attendance to 90 people for this event.  Once those slots are gone...we're full, and registration will be closed.  So don't delay in registering.  You're not registered until you send in your registration form and your payment for the banquets and/or charter fishing.

Fish 'N Fest events are not fishing tournaments.  Instead, they present an opportunity to explore the fishing, the cuisine, and the hospitality and amenities of a fun and fishy coastal destination.   Except for the costs of the banquet evenings and charter guides (if you use one) there are no entry fees to participate.   And you don't need to own a boat to experience some great days on the water.  We will arrange local charter guides to take you out, at a very reasonable cost.


Download the Registration Form --- fill it out and email it to   Then book your accommodations, click on the Banquets link below to pay for your nighttime festivities.  If you want a bag lunch each day, click on the Lunch Box link to add those for each person in your group.  Finally, if you elect to fish with one of Apalachicola's finest charter captains then click on the Charter Fishing link to sign up for charter fishing.  That's it!   


The Fall Fish 'N Fest is Thursday thru Sunday, but you can come early or stay late and make it a vacation for the entire family.  And speaking of family...these are family-oriented events.  Bring the grandkids and the grandparents.  We have just a much fun off the water as we do on the ocean.

In case you're curious about just how much fun these events are...check out the Fish 'N Fest TV episodes from previous years.  We can't possibly pack all the fun in 30 minutes, but after watching these shows, we're convinced you won't want to miss out.  You don't have to own a boat, or ever fished saltwater to have a big time at a Fish 'N Fest.   And be sure to sign up for the Nuts & Bolts e-Newsletter to stay updated for all the Fish 'N Fest details.



If you have already signed up, that's great!  Hopefully you downloaded and emailed your Registration Form in.   If not, please do that now.   This lets us know how many people are coming, where you'll be staying (so we can keep track of the room blocks), and whether you will be fishing with a charter captain or bringing your own boat.  You are also required to pay for charter fishing and evening banquets via our payment portals so we have an accurate head count for the caterers and charter guides.  Once you've filled out the form, email it to 

Your banquet fees include admission to both nighttime events, a ticket in the drawing for a Free Ride to the Spring 2018 Fish 'N Fest. 


Our off-the-water HQ for the event is the Bay City Lodge.  

We have arranged room blocks at Bay City Lodge.  They offer duplexes, single cabins, single hotel rooms.  We have a limited number of rooms available for our group, and these will fill up fast, so call them ASAP and get your room.   Call them during normal business hours at 850-653-9294.  You may have to try a couple times, because they are very busy this time of year.  Tell them you are booking a room for the Nuts & Bolts Fish 'N Fest.

There are other options in downtown Apalachicola including the Water Street Hotel, the Apalachicola River Inn and the Gibson Inn in the historic district.   We don't have room blocks at these other sites, so just call to make your reservation early to get the best deal possible for that weekend.


 Springtime fishing in Apalachicola Bay can be spectacular.  You can expect lots of speckled trout, redfish, flounder, spanish mackerel and more.  Plus there's always the chance to sight-cast to tripletail.   This is skinny water fishing at its finest.  And if you don't own a boat...that's OK.  As we have done in the past, we have made arrangements with local charter guides for folks who do not have a boat, or elect not to bring their own boat. 

As in the past, we also have an Offshore Option for fishing on Friday. We've engaged the Fish'N Xpress out of Port St. Joe. Capt. Bill Little will carry our Fish 'N Fest anglers offshore for deep water denizens including snapper, king mackerel, sea bass, cobia, grouper and more.  And yep, grouper season should be open while we're there.

Bay City Lodge has slip space (on a first-come-first-serve basis), fuel, water, ice, launch ramp, and a fully-stocked tackle store on premises.   They also have bait and a fish cleaning station.  So everything you need is right there on-site.  

INSHORE CHARTER FISHING:  Our select group of local captains offer comfortable bay boats that can accommodate four anglers per boat and they will have everything you need for the day.  All you have to do is bring what you want to eat and be prepared for a fun day on the water.    Charter rates are based on 4 people per inshore boat, with a per person charge of $150. which includes boat, guide, tackle, fuel, bait and ice.  If you want a boat to yourself, or want to fish with specific buddies, that's fine, but you will pay the entire day rate for the boat.








OFFSHORE FISHING: Spring is also a great time of year to venture offshore.  Capt. Bill Little and the Fish'N Xpress will be our host again for a fun day offshore.  Grouper will be in season, along with all the 'other' snapper species.  And we may have an open Red Snapper season while we're there!  Of course, there's lots of other fun fish to catch as well, including king mackerel, cobia, bonita, barracuda and more.  We will have the entire boat to ourselves.  And there is a limited number of openings, so book your slot now!  The cost is $200 for a full day of fishing offshore.  Once the slots are gone, they're gone.  The shopping cart knows how many slots are left for Friday, so if it doesn't let you purchase it (or says Sold Out), then you'll know you waited too long to sign up.

Fishing fees are non-refundable, unless the captain cancels the trip due to weather.   We WILL fish in the rain (not a thunderstorm), or if it is windy or chilly.  The captain will make the call regarding "Go" or "No-Go"

Friday and Saturday mornings, we will gather at the Bay City Docks at 7:30am to film the opening for a Nuts & Bolts of Fishing TV epidose.  The charter boats will depart at 8:00am and have you back to the docks around 3pm.  Weigh-in for the Kahuna Awards will be at the dock from 3pm - 5pm. on Friday and Saturday.   If you are bringing your own boat, there are no specific 'lines-in' or 'lines-out' times, since this isn't a tournament.   If you want to weigh a fish, you'll need to be there at the appointed times though.




You do not have to kill the fish to enter it for a Kahuna Award.  To qualify, the fish must be a legal, in-season game fish.   For inshore species, this includes seatrout, redfish, flounder, jacks, mackerel, cobia, tripletail, etc.  For offshore species, this includes, grouper, snapper, amberjack, cobia, barracuda, bonita, etc.  We do not count sharks or stingrays.  Winning fish in each category will be by weight.  In the event of a tie, length will be the determining factor.  If you choose to release the fish, get a picture, an accurate weight and length before releasing.  





Fish 'N Fest events are not tournaments. There's no attendance fee to participate in the Nuts & Bolts Fish 'N Fest.  The only charges we collect are for Charter Fishing and for our Nighttime Banquets.  If you bring your own boat, you only pay for the Banquets.

Thursday Night June 14:   Sign in and get your goodie bags from 2 - 4pm beside the Bay City Docks.  Then at 5:00pm Social Hour begins on the deck.  The program starts at 7:00pm with dinner at 7:30 at the Bay City Restaurant.  We will have a drawing for two Nuts & Bolts Edition Bushido Rods handcrafted by Coach's Custom Rods and lots more cool prizes. During cocktail hour, you'll have the opportunity to make new friends and meet the local captains.  The captains will provide up to date info on where the fish are at and what they're biting.   

Friday Night June 15:  You're on your own to explore Apalachicola's amenities, watering holes and restaurants.  

Saturday Night June 16:  Our Celebration Banquet will be back at Bay City Restaurant.  Cocktail hour begins at 6:00pm.  The dinner and presentation starts at 7:00pm.   We'll crown the  Inshore and Offshore Kahunas and present them with custom made one-of-a-kind works of art.   Plus we'll hand out  the famous "First to Chum" Award and a $100 Spending Spree from Project X Tackle, and more.   And, of course we'll draw a winner for a Fish 'N Fest Free Ride to the Fall 2018 Fish 'N Fest.

 There it is.   The 411 on the Spring 2018 Fish 'N Fest.  June will be here before you know it.    Book your rooms now.   And click on the icons to pay for your charter fishing fees and evening banquets.  Pretty simple?  Yessirree.   We'll see you there!


Questions?   Email and I'll have Buck get right back with you.